Ever heard the term “My sauce has broken” before? It basically means all the components of your beautiful sauce separated into an icky looking pool of floating oil and fat pieces.
Hollandaise is one of the simplest sauces to make but people get scared because it’s a sauce that breaks easily. You’re mixing lemon juice with egg yolks and butter and none of these things like each other so it’s very easy for the sauce to separate on you.
You’re also heating a sauce with egg yolks in it and if you get the sauce too hot then you’re going to scramble the eggs which will definitely break the sauce. But guess what? There’s a way you can save your broken sauce!
When your sauce separates, we need a binding agent to hold it all back together. Now if you get your sauce too hot and the eggs scramble, then you’ll have to start over. You can’t uncook your eggs. But if it just broke (separated), then it’s an easy fix.
Start with one new egg yolk in a new bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the yolk vigorously and very slowly pour the broken sauce into the new bowl. The egg yolk will act as a binding agent and hold everything together! Now go whip up some hollandaise and see if you can get it to break.